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Charles Town Cottage Company unveils its first small home

By Staff | Jul 20, 2018

Pictured from the left: Heather McIntyre, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director; Daryl Hennessey, Charles Town City Manager; Alan Nathan, owner of Charles Town Cottage Company; Jane Silk Zinstein, owner of Charles Town Cottage Company; Donnie Haines, Ranson Councilman; Jay Watson, Ranson Councilman; Ranson Mayor Duke Pierson; Robin Huyett Thomas, Sothebys agent; Tara Orndorff, Chamber Board member; Edward Erfurt, Ranson Assistant City manager; Delegate Jill Upson; and Amy Panzarella, Chamber Board member.

RANSON – The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce welcomed the Charles Town Cottage Company to the chamber with a ribbon cutting ceremony held at the companys first cottage, located at 205 East 7th Avenue in Ranson, last Friday.

Company husband-and-wife owners Alan Nathan and Jane Zinstein, of Charles Town, plan to build two more cottages beside the first one, before beginning to build on property they already own in Charles Town.

“There is absolutely a demand for low-income housing here,” said BB&T Loan Officer Roxanne Sidow, who worked with the company to finance the commercial construction. “Jane did a lot of research herself, so we obviously saw the demand and the need.”

JCCC Executive Director Heather McIntyre agreed on the need for low-income housing in the area, and said the company’s projects could benefit Jefferson County economically.

“It’s bringing economic development to the county. It’s a great concept. to have just a little cottage,” McIntyre said, mentioning the companys focus on designing small homes costing about $150,000 each, may encourage more people to move to Jefferson County, which could benefit local businesses.

Nathan and Zinstein currently own and run a media company together out of their home, and decided to start this second venture after they realized many people want to own their own homes, but can’t afford to pay the mortgage of most homes in the area. The cottages Nathan and Zinstein design have a mortgage of about $700 a month — comparable to the monthly rent of an apartment.

“I’m really proud of our cottage. We really want to help the community be rejuvenated,” Zinstein said, mentioning she has design experience from designing two of her previous homes.

“What we used as a measure for what was needed in the home, was what we would like if we lived in our own cottage,” Zinstein said.

According to Zinstein, the property the cottage was built on was intended to hold just one home, but due to the size of the cottages, the city allowed the company to split the plot into three .07 square acre plots. Unlike tiny homes, which depreciate in value and are less than 400 square feet, small homes or cottages appreciate in value and measure between 400 and 1,000 square feet.

With a gravel driveway for two to four vehicles behind it, each cottage will be built on a cement foundation, with a three-foot crawl space beneath the home.

All of the following small homes will be slight variations of the first cottage, containing a small bedroom with a closet, a small living room, a full bathroom, a full kitchen, a small space in the back for a combination washer dryer and a full wood front porch with an overhang.

The cottages’ water will be heated by Rinnai water heaters placed in the crawl space, which save homeowners money by only heating water as it is being used. Zinstein and Nathan have used a Rinnai in their 19th-century home for a year-and-a-half, and said it saves them about $100 every month — a bonus they believe will be appreciated by the cottages future owner.

The company’s first cottage is being sold for $148,925 dollars, and is also available for lease. To schedule a showing, contact Hunt Country Sothebys International Realty Agent Robin Thomas at 703-475-3673.